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Monday, 11 May 2009

For the sake of children, stop penalising marriage

Camilla Cavendish had a good article in the Times: Children are safer with their natural families. In the wake of the torture and death of baby Peter, this is a well-balanced and sensible appeal to stop turning a blind eye to the danger posed to children by family breakdown. Cavendish observes:
In Britain, NSPCC research has found that children living with biological parents are between 20 and 33 times safer than those living in any other type of household - despite the NSPCC being inclined to play down family breakdown.
And she comments:
If the statistics are right, by far the most effective check on abuse is the family. The real family, where the vast majority of real fathers see their first duty as protecting their children. Yet these are the people we have made afraid. We have institutionalised shamelessness among people with no notion of family, some of whom have killed children. Simultaneously we have sown widespread fear of decent, well-meaning professionals among the innocent, the majority of whom who do not move on from baby to baby and man to man.
This is an important point. I have often been told by social work and child protection professionals that "most child abuse happens in the family" but there is never any attempt to distinguish between different types of "family" or, it seems, to assess the relative risk of different arrangements in order to encourage the safety of the children involved.

H/T Countercultural Father
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